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The extract from the Novel Things fall apart by Chinua Achebe, in chapter twenty-two is one of the breaking points in the novel. With the entrance of Reverend James Smith, the passage describes the evolving conflict

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Introduction

Things Fall Apart - Written commentary Passage - chapter 22, page 184 "Mr. Brown's successor was the Reverend James Smith..." to "...wept for a great evil that was coming-its own death." The extract from the Novel Things fall apart by Chinua Achebe, in chapter twenty-two is one of the breaking points in the novel. With the entrance of Reverend James Smith, the passage describes the evolving conflict between the indigenous and the colonial justice system. His actions along with Enoch's zealously shatter the fragile relationship between the communities, which was once held together by Mr. Brown. In the beginning of the extract Mr. Brown is replaced by his successor Reverend James Smith to lead the church in Umuofia. Mr. Brown is a foil for Reverend Smith, as they both have different opinions on how the church should be run. Reverend Smith "condemned openly Mr. Brown's policy of compromise and accommodation." He has no respect for the ingenious people or their culture. He does after all see "things as black and white," where "black was evil." ...read more.

Middle

This tells us that Mr. Smith is not willing to accept any other customs or traditions other than those in the bible. In the bible Jesus Christ used a chord whip to, drive out livestock, scatter coins of money changers and to turn over the tables of people selling doves. He did this because he took offense, to the people that were using the temple of worship to make a profit. Yet, just like Mr. Brown, Jesus Christ appealed to outsiders and accepted them. In this passage the narrator mocks Reverend Smith at how he misinterprets the bible, and how he uses his misinterpretation to justify his actions. However, the narrator realizes that Mr. Smith is not to be dealt light-heartedly as he could make a dramatic change in Ibo culture because of his strong misconstrued views of Christianity. Although Reverend Smith is very ignorant to Ibo culture and custom, it does not make him a completely foolish man. The narrator makes Reverend Smith's character a bit comic, yet he is not innocuous. ...read more.

Conclusion

Enoch who was lead by Reverend Smith made the "the very soul of the tribe weep for a great evil that was coming-its own death." "Its own death," insinuates that the tribe will eventually fall apart and no longer exist because the white men are slowly destroying the Ibo people and their culture, which holds them together. Achebe purposefully does not translate all the words in the novel such as; "ogbanje," and "egwugwu." The reason for this is because Achebe wants to illustrate how the Western society has falsely perceived African culture and people as savages. The words are too complex and too sophisticated to possibly be translated into English without losing its meaning. This extract is an efficient illustration of the rising tension between Western and African societies in a certain time period. It provides detailed descriptions of different stereotypes of this era, as well as different characters. I am interested to know what happens next and how things really start to fall apart after the Enoch's crime. Achebe portrays the African society and culture in a new and humane light. English A1 Word count 1002 ...read more.

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